We all want our content to captivate an audience. It's a surefire way to build brand awareness, increase web traffic, and pull in some customers. However, you need to write good copy to do it. But how?
Let's examine simple yet effective tips, ways, and techniques to write good copy and get conversions. Copywriters, get your keyboards ready.
Open The Conversation Naturally
Remember, you're writing for human beings, not machines. And copywriting is a conversion. All writing is, in one form or another.
Some so-called SEO specialists will aim for the latter instead of the former. They'll even harm the integrity of their copywriting by performing black hat SEO practices to get a temporary edge in web traffic.
The key to writing good copy for your audience is being relatable, educational, and honest. There's no room for black hat SEO if you hope to inform, persuade, and compel a reader.
We know SEO, and it's not all about keyword stuffing to strive for SERPs success.
While that's ideal, it's not evergreen. And with writing good copy, writing natural, evergreen content is a great end goal.
But writing good copy also depends on your demographic. For whom do you write? Business leaders in a specific industry? Young people on the lookout for some great holiday deals?
A great way to approach this is by imagining you're doling out some helpful advice to a friend. What would you say to inform and persuade a good friend? And how would you say, or in this case, write it?
A friendly, helpful approach is infinitely more pleasant to read rather than a condescending tone coupled with expert knowledge.
Simply put, respect your reader. After all, it could be a valued friend reading your copy.
Research Your Reader
We like to hammer home that market research is vital, and the same goes for writing good copy. To understand your audience, their interests, and desired outcomes, you need to hit the books. To what is your audience responding this season?
After all, these readers will likely make up a sizeable chunk of your clientele. Copy needs to have expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. This makes up the essence of Google's EAT pages. When you tailor your copywriting to have an air of trust, authority, and well-researched expertise, you're duly informing your customer. And, again, you're respecting the reader and their time.
Watch the Adverbs!
Grammar 101 lesson incoming.
Adverbs modify different aspects of a sentence. They can prove to be troublesome when you break them down. For example:
'He ran quickly to the car.' This sentence gets the job done. But when you want to write good copy, you need to skimp on the adverbs. Instead of 'He ran quickly to the car,' why not write 'He sprinted to the car'?
You can almost always find a suitable verb that replaces those words ending in 'ly.'
Bestselling author Stephen King stated in his treatise, On Writing:
“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day…fifty the day after that…and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions."
While adverbs aren't indicative of lousy writing per se (and certainly not nearly as dramatic as Mr. King states), using too many can lower the quality of your writing. And when focusing on copy for a business, product, or service, you need to have quality writing.
It's hard to avoid them, but by keeping the adverb count low, your copy will reflect your restraint.
And King has a point: depending on certain writing conventions doesn’t do you any favors. And, by extension, it doesn't serve the reader well, either.
When you find yourself leaning too heavily on adverbs, consider cutting down and getting creative with your writing.
Problems With Passive Voice
Passive voice is a constant issue with writing good copy in marketing. A copywriter needs to remain vigilant, as writing in the passive voice is an easy pitfall.
As a quick reminder, the passive voice tells readers what happened.
Instead of saying "The lawn was mowed by Jess," opt for something more akin to "Jess mowed the lawn." This is classic 'subject + verb + object.'
It's easier to understand, and it cleans up your copywriting, pure and simple.
Keep It Simple
There's nothing wrong with keeping it simple. In fact, it's preferable.
People don't want to read a term paper on how your business is the best in the world. Instead, make definitive statements in concise, short paragraphs.
It makes copy easier to digest. In short, people would always rather read less. And that's okay! Take advantage of that.
The best practice is to state your points to people plainly. Don't mince words. Another method of getting info across to readers is through bullet points, too.
Sprinkles Media offers various services:
- Search engine optimization and keyword research
- Custom branding and website design
- Paid advertising, search engine marketing, and social media marketing
Bullet points are easier on the eyes and make things much more digestible.
You might like the sound of meandering sentences crammed with nice-sounding words, but your copy isn't a novel. It serves a distinct purpose. And if you can hammer home your objectives plainly, all the better.
Skip The Jargon
Don't use complicated jargon. The last thing you want to do is alienate people with your copy. For example, if you run an IT business, go easy on the technical jargon especially if your clients are technologically inexperienced.
Every copywriter needs to pay mind to, once again, keeping things simple. Be persuasive, compelling, and informative without bombarding readers with complex terms.
If you absolutely, positively need to tell your readers about a product using more complicated terms, at least provide them with some helpful definitions.
Know Your Product
If you don't even know what you're selling with your copy, your writing will never be as good as it can be. Get familiar with the product or service before you start writing. People quickly recognize if a copywriter has no clue what they're writing about.
For example, we could say,
'Marketing consultation services help businesses.'
Technically, that's true. But why are these services valuable? Remember to be concise when you need to be, go light on the jargon, and be easy-to-understand.
Now, let's change it around.
'Marketing consultation services help businesses thrive in a few ways. Search engine optimization helps a business get noticed on Google. Custom branding helps develop an unique personality to attract and build trust with customers.'
A little more convincing, no?
Of course, there's a lot more to marketing consultation services than these few aspects. But remember, we're applying the above rules to write good copy. Play around with sentences you write to see if they check all the copywriting boxes.
In short, make sure you know your company from front to back. And more importantly, what the company offers the public. A little product research goes a long way.
Know When To Stop Writing Copy
Stop writing copy? Why would you ever want to do that?
When you have nothing more to say, or you're merely trying to hit a specific word count, your copy will inevitably suffer in one way or another.
If your copy drones on about something for over 2,000 words, your readers will probably not bother with your content instead of paying attention to a powerful piece of writing. And it's totally understandable.
When trying to hit a certain copy quota, writing with as much authority as with a shorter piece is challenging. Don't pad your copy with wandering paragraphs filled with jargon, unnecessary information, and other copywriting no-no's. Know when to stop, as it could help make your copy great and more memorable.
Write Good Copy and Build Brand Awareness
If you follow these tips, you'll end up writing good copy in no time.
Whether you're a lone copywriter or manage a team of copywriters, cleaning up writing methods is key to successful engagement.
Add to that expert knowledge on a subject, and people will engage with your content sooner than you think. And always remember: respect your reader.
You're informing them of a great product (yours) and why they should have an interest.
Tell them why using your copy, build trust, and most importantly, build a relationship with them.